Sunday, April 29, 2012

Orioles Fever: I Feel A Bit Warm...and Retro-Avian

When I was a kid, the very first MLB game that I went to was the Baltimore Orioles vs. the New York Yankees at Memorial Stadium in June 1984. It was a seminal moment of my childhood. Away from the game, and without a tv most of the time, I turned to the 1986 topps set to keep the game alive on the carpet, organizing positions, teams and stars into piles that reset with a new schema everytime I felt like thinking about baseball.

I do the exact same thing now, although I now keep a "keeper" pile, a "new" (usually already-owned cards I am revisiting) a "time to sell?" pile and a "time to sell" pile. If I were to break it down, the stacks change on a semi-regular basis. It is a cathartic activity in which I have full control over the manipulation of single packets of information (or "quanta" if you wanna get quantum physical). This makes me "happy"...searching the web for my favorite card designs and writing in this blog are the other vectors that I have adopted in order to cut down on any purchases I may want to make. (in case you didn't notice, I still really miss UD)

I know that some of us can follow, or root for, one team their whole life. I have moved far too many times to have that luxury. Let's quickly go over my timeline

1. Memorial Stadium, Baltimore 1984-88, 5 games, Lived in Phoenix, MD
Baseball fascinates me. my young mind was already skewing the way of Bill James, counting and comparing. I will never forget the characters from those years. Sheets, Wiggins, Tippy, Dempsey. I lived not far up the street from Gary Roenicke and used to play with his kids once in a while. It seemed so normal to be a bird fan. (Important note: I did not follow wins and losses yet, and with the Birds in my backyard, I didn't think much about playoffs...just missed that)

2. Yankee Stadium, NY, NY 1988-1994, 8 games, Lived in South CT and then North NJ
Dad and I had some exceptional times heading in to the bronx. I will certainly never forget walking out in the upper deck behind homeplate as my intro to the best looking stadium I have ever been to.

3. Baseball Hiatus, 1994-2002 Strike, puberty, etc.

4. The Fox Hole, Osterville, MA 2002-2003, (Fenway, Boston, MA/MASN)
  watched every single Sox game while bartending my ass off after college. (Fell easily back into baseball culture of   pure team adoration-begin reading box scores in the paper again, no money to attend game at fenway).

5.Miller Park, Milwaukee, WI 2004-2005, 21 games
After taking a job in environmental politics in Milwaukee, the culture of my father's hometown baseball was intoxicating and Miller park remains the most welcoming park I have ever attended. The young brewers became "My Team".

6. the Diamond, Richmond, VA, 2000-2008, 20+ games
Home of the Richmond Braves until 2008, and a shoddy concrete mini-beast. My mother moved to Richmond with my sisters shortly before she passed, and this became home during my last years in college. I returned after both MA and WI to live with my sisters and assist in a new life with just the three of us in our new family. I got to see them win the International League Champioinship. I attended the last opening day and the last Braves game before we literally lost them due to simple yet massive neglect on behalf of the regions governing bodies. It was too late though, MiLB had me for good. I got to see quite a few current A-Braves tear it up in RVA. The first auto card I ever pulled was an Escobar the week before he arrived in Richmond, only to dominate all categories until being called up.

7. The Diamond, Richmond, VA, 2009-present 8 games
The Connecticut Defenders get a major refit as they arrive as the Richmond Flying Squirrels just before their parent organization the SF Giants won the chamionship, and Buster hit the big time. Now I like the Giants a lot too, as I get to see some of their youngest talent before it blossoms or wilts.

7. Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD 2009-present 2 games
My father got to go to Camden Yards on a business trip the year that it opened, and raved about it until he passed in 1998. We had planned to go to a game there, and that is part of the reason it took me so long to attend a game there. I adore the Baltimore baseball culture and it is more vibrant now than ever.

It means a lot to me (an many of us) that everyone ever involved in the game of baseball has their own web of involvement and experiences that coincide on the field and in box scores and, for our purposes here at SH&H, through the unique written styles of individual signatures.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Last Chace Saloon: Get A Gander

 The following is a portion of cards that absolutely must go. They are pic'd, and prepped for thebay. Before they head that way I want to celebrate a few cards that I have had for a while, and just a couple that I either wish I could keep, or don't care a lick about. If you absolutely must have something you see, I am accepting very reasonable offers on them individually, but don't be afraid to contact me about multiple cards. I take paypal or MO.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are Yu Really Serious?!: No Tell Me The Truth...You're Kidding Right?!

I know, I know...I've been at this too long to be shocked by what people will pay for a Stras or Bryce (or even Brien, Maas or Nomo) but since the storm around GQ was only stoked by last year's release and there still being no real product to compete against, I have been watching. I have been looking for that score like last year's Markakis $27.00 #/25 framed auto relic. I have to be patient, but in the meantime this set is still taking off. (my only complaint is the super-drab concept which permeates the parallels as well as the base cards and inserts; that said, it dominates last year's khaki-pants look)

The exceptional specimen below sold for 238.00 even after 22 bids. (238 is my lucky #). That's a lot of cash nowadays. (and yes I'm almost old enough to say "nowadays".)
Then something else caught my eye the same day...
This little bastard below went for $730.00. Seven Hundred and Thirty American Dollars.
5 bids...not a shil in the I don't care who or what tells me, there is no effing way this guy's auto is worth that much. Next you're going to tell me how much it'll be worth after you grade it...

I have absolutely no desire to own the card on the bottom...but to have won the card above for 238.00 for my BD or gift...woulda been like my dear sainted and departed Mum and Dad themselves gave it to me.

oh, and in the comments section, I don't want to hear shit about availability/print runs...
EDIT: I heard the print run for Yu was 25. Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just Exceptional: Inspiring Autograph Gallery (Been Sittin On These)

As I've stated, I am trying to "get back on the horse" here, so here's a "dump" of sorts, of some of the best single, non-categorized, non significant players' autographs I've seen since my last post. I have a few themed posts in the works so I got to get this out of my system...hewego...

Similar to Pat Neshek's Prominent "P", Andy had it down years early. I have seen a few of Andy's specimens, and it appears he prefers paper that bleeds a little, so you have to write quickly or be labeled a "hack". 
I am trying to figure out if this sig is upside-down or not...(even thought I know) Paper, sticker or what, this guy has back-handed skills like the SHAH star Gary Sheffield.

 These Wilkins come in two types: shaky and extra shaky. This kind of dedication to follow-through is why I still follow the hobby at all.
 Search "machado auto" and behold the sickness...Exceptional Alejandro here is not alone, though New Manny is making a mess of the category. (see below)
Anderson has a knack for pseudo-symmetry that is all-so-important in a visually-appealing 'graph.

 Slick white stock has gotten the better of Phips in 2010-12...he is scrawling all over topps' on-card offerings with reckless abandon. (this insert design is one of my few favorite non-upper deck white-stock ones in years. I am crazy for the framing and minimalism. "crowd pleasers"? dammit.why!?awkward.
Just ran across this the other day. I need to get my hands on one so I can do some measuring...

 Any man who starts and ends his auto with an "8" is alright with me. He really "got the idea" of that 2006 Bowman Chrome certified auto area...

 They see me rollin...(and yes, I kinda hated bret boone)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Duelling Autos: 2008 Upper Deceased Legendary Cuts

Wonder who got to this one first?
Shoot, John. I'll just use what's left...nice comeback Russ, trying to match the scale of his HOF co-signer

Getting Back on The Horse: 100 years of "quirkiness"

Boston's Fenway park celebrates its 100th (birthday if you're into that whole personification thing) anniversary in classy fasion for the most part. I was really moved by a few of the photos taken of the event that can be seen on msnbc's photoblog.

 where's your player?
 one of these things is not like the other
Johnny Pesky on the left and Bobby Doerr on the right. Amazing.